No matter how good commercial hair dye makes you look, it still contains chemicals your body doesn't need. Dye also tends to produce more intense colors than you may want. Herbs are both gentler on your hair and produce a softer, more natural tint. The dyeing effect of most herbs is faint, though, so apply herbal coloring rinses daily for a week or longer to see results.
Although sage leaves are light green, tea made with this aromatic herb can noticeably darken hair. Boil 2 cups of water and add 1/2 cup dry sage leaves. Let the infusion steep for 2 hours, then strain out the leaves. Pour the infusion onto your hair and let it soak in for 1/2 hour, then rinse it out. Do this daily until your hair darkens and weekly to maintain the color. This rinse works especially well for hiding gray in dark hair, experts at the CareFair website write.
Rinsing hair in black tea, or Camellia sinensis, not only darkens the color, but also adds shine, notes the Stash Tea website. Brew a strong cup or two of ordinary black tea, apply this to your hair after a wash and let it sit for 1/2 hour before rinsing.
Try rosemary if you want to encourage hair growth and tone your scalp as well as darken your hair, suggests the website Sacred Earth. Add 3 tsp. dry rosemary leaves to 1 cup boiling water. Steep the infusion until cool, then strain. Apply the tea to your hair and massage it into your scalp. Let it rest for around 5 minutes, then rinse it out. Rosemary has only a light dying effect, but you can combine it with sage for faster results.
Henna and Indigo
In combination, henna and indigo produce blue-black hair. Apply henna first to prepare your hair for the indigo. Indigo alone creates a blueish shade. Henna alone turns your hair orange, but helps the indigo penetrate the hair shaft. Apply indigo immediately after the henna to produce a dark blue that will oxidize to blueish black in a few days. Even a single treatment with henna and indigo is difficult to remove from hair, so use these herbs for permanent coloring only.
Nicole Langton has been a professional writer for over 10 years. She began writing for a natural health company where she developed a deep interest in nutrition and natural treatments. Langton earned a Bachelor of Arts in east central European studies as well as a certificate in English language to teach to adults.